My child has a personal music player and I can hear it when she has it in his ears. Could this hurt her hearing?
e-brochure from the World Health Organization: Make Listening Safe
NOISE – Lifelong Harm to Children’s Hearing provides information on what LOUD really is, how loud sounds can harm hearing and what can be done to prevent permanent hearing loss.
ARTICLE: Haller, A.K. & Montgomery, J.K. (March/April, 2004). Noise-Induced Hearing Loss in Children: What Educators Need to Know. Teaching Exceptional Children, 36(4), 22-27.
Q. CAN AN IPOD/MP3 PLAYER DAMAGE HEARING?
A. Yes, if you listen too long and too loud! Make sure the volume of your music player is set at the halfway mark – or less. The safest type of earbuds limit the decibel level going into your ears. Did you know that earbuds can actually add another 5 decibels to the noise? Make sure your earbuds fit snugly in your ears to block out outside noise so you don’t have to turn up your music volume – and keep the volume at a reasonable level.
Q. WHAT’S A DECIBEL, AGAIN?
A. The decibel is a measurement of how loud a sound is. Another way to explain it – sound travels in waves and its energy is measured in decibels. The more forceful the wave, the higher the decibel. On the decibel scale, the quietest sound that can be heard is 0dB – almost silence. A whisper is 15dB, normal talking is 60dB and yelling is around 90dB.
Q. HOW LONG IS ‘TOO LONG’ WHEN LISTENING TO MUSIC?
A. The longer your inner ear hair cells are exposed to loud noise, the greater the chance of damage. Put another way – the louder the sound, the less time you can listen safely. You can talk with your friends at 65dB for a very long time with no problem. At 85 dB, though, you can listen for eight hours (as long as there’s nothing else louder than that going on). And with every increase of 3dB, your ‘safe listening’ time is cut in half! For example, you can listen safely to your iPod at 88dB for 4 hours and at 90 decibels, for only 2 hours! If you crank it up to 100dB, your ear hair cells will be stressing out after just 15 minutes!